Europe's largest steelworks in Taranto, southern Italy, have long been criticised for emitting toxic substances. Cancer rates here are disproportionately high. Yet steel production continues. How is this possible?

Taranto in southern Italy has been home to Europe’s largest steelworks since the 1960s. This is where steel production processes are known to generate toxic substances, such as dioxin and benzopyrene. Numerous studies show that cancer rates in Taranto are well disproportionately high. The government in Rome has been aware of this for years, yet steel production continues. How is this possible? We follow the people of Taranto as they campaign for the plant’s closure, we investigate developments in Rome and Brussels and we interview Italian and European politicians about one of the biggest environmental scandals in the history of Europe. Videos shot by workers inside the steelworks reveal the current state of the industrial plant. How can an environmental crime be covered up for so many decades, right here in the middle of Europe? What political and industrial forces are involved? An investigation into how politics and industry have succeeded in bypassing the controls of Italian and European institutions for so many years, reaping huge profits at the expense of Taranto's citizens. An almost perfect state-sanctioned environmental crime.